Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray on Saturday hit back at the Maharashtra government over the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report which pulled up the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) over its functioning and use of funds and sought similar audits of civic bodies in Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Nashik and Nagpur. Talking to reporters, Thackeray, whose party controlled the BMC for 25 years, said people were aware of the work done by the (undivided) Shiv Sena through the civic body. "They (government) can probe. Whom does the municipal commissioner listen to? Who was the Urban Development minister? We welcome this because Mumbaikars know about our work," he said.
"But similar audits must be carried out in Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, Nashik, Nagpur municipal corporations. If they (government) have guts, then they should be transparent," Thackeray added. Thackeray's reference to the civic bodies of Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali civic bodies was aimed at attacking Chief minister Eknath Shinde who indirectly controlled them, while the Nagpur civic body was controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party. A report prepared by the CAG on the functioning of Mumbai's civic body has highlighted the lack of transparency and planning as well as careless use of funds and flagged non-sharing of COVID-19 management expenditure records.
The CAG report, which was tabled in the Maharashtra Assembly on Saturday by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, scrutinised expenditure of Rs 12,023.88 crore made by nine departments of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation between November 28, 2019 and October 31, 2022. Several works were awarded without tendering or choosing proper contractors, including one case of an influent pumping station in which, the report said, malafide intentions cannot be ruled out, the report said. Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader Sunil Prabhu demanded that the CAG should probe all civic bodies. Just because the Shiv Sena controlled the BMC for 25 years, this report was brought to defame Uddhav Thackeray, Prabhu alleged.
Speaking in the Assembly earlier in the day, Deputy CM Fadnavis said the CAG report probe was restricted to only Rs 12,000 crore and more irregularities would have been unearthed if the entire functioning of the BMC was taken into account. Fadnavis had also said the special audit report will be submitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Legislature and appropriate action would be taken if any instance of corruption is found. Civic polls in several cities, including Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Pune, are due since earluey 2022. Polls were not held at the time due to the coronavirus pandemic.